The Chattahoochee Review Guest Author Series is pleased to welcome short story writer and 2014 Townsend Prize for Fiction finalist Jamie Quatro to Georgia Perimeter College on Thursday, October 22, 2015, for a reading from and discussion about the short stories in her lauded debut collection, I Want to Show You More.
Set in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, the 15 interlocking tales in Quatro’s book draw from a “small pool of particular and unexpectedly resonant themes—Christianity, marital infidelity, cancer, [and] running”—to create an original and artistically mature work of literature full of characters that “range from the ridiculously strange to the seemingly normal.” In I Want to Show You More, Quatro maps out a few days in the life of a 30-year-old mother engaged in a 10-month “emotional affair” with a long-distance stranger who later shows up as a decomposing corpse in her marital bed. The collection also tells the story of a deaf man who mystically destroys a church turning its congregants into a sex cult; along with that of a family of six dealing with a mother’s cancer diagnosis and the heartbreak of her passing; and that of an 89-year-old woman who embarks on a journey across the Georgia-Tennessee border to post a letter to the President. In the author’s vision of the contemporary American South, unsettling gothic fantasy and unabashedly raw sexuality exist within the same space-time continuum as the grounded comfort of authentic kinship and the stealth of naturally aging memory.
With prose described as spare and minimalist, yet capable of eliciting “fine moments of horror, humor, and genuine tenderness,” the stories in I Want to Show You More effortlessly blend the surreal with the real, the bizarre with the familiar, bearing comparison to the writing of short story masters Flannery O’Connor, George Saunders, Lorrie Moore, and Donald Barthelme.
To hear more about Jamie Quatro’s work, please join The Chattahoochee Review on October 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in NB-2100/2101 on the Dunwoody campus. All are welcome to attend, and faculty members are encouraged to bring their classes. Light refreshments will be provided during the book sales/signing at the end of the reading and discussion.
More information about the author can be found on her Website.
AUTHOR QUOTE: “I think an acutely musical sensibility should be beneath every story that makes it into print. The words and sentences alone, black marks on the white page, stimulate the eye and intellect; the sound beneath the marks—the pulse or cadence bubbling and surfacing up through the words, expanding outward—that’s what gets to the level of the heart, cracks open the soul. The best lyrical prose does this: a particular quality of sound, operating through the language, makes me feel the elemental things—desire, grief, joy. . . . This is why the short story appeals to me, why I keep finding myself working in the medium. The compression of the form lends itself—almost demands—a kind of lyricism.”